Mom upset her young daughter and friend saw man at library viewing ‘porn’ on computer
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — A Snoqualmie mom is trying to rally parents to bring about some change at her local King County public library where she says her 11-year-old daughter and friend witnessed a man looking at what they said was pornography.
Eleven-year-old friends Alyx Barlament and Ann Kauffman said they didn’t even know what porn was until they saw it at the library. They said they were doing homework at the library when something caught their eye.
“It was a little freaky cause I have never really seen that before,” Alyx said.
Even though there are privacy screens on the monitors, Alyx says she could see images of naked women as she walked from the study room to the restroom. She told Ann and they both told the librarian.
“I was shocked because she goes, well, it’s legal — but if it’s children it’s not legal,” Alyx said.
Alyx called her mother, Meg, who drove to the library to talk to the staff.
"When I hear that this guy is in his rights, it blew my mind," Meg said. "I'm like, well, what about the kids rights?"
"The guy that was watching had no idea that the girls were right there cause he had headphones on so he was listening to it as well," Meg said.
The King County Library System says they don't censor adults from accessing or viewing materials that are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. And the default setting for adult computers is restricted, so that mans an adult must ask to have the filter removed.
"As far as the rules and our First Amendment rights, and everyone wants to protect the rights of of people what they want to watch, but what about those rights of the kids -- that's what I care about," Meg said.
Unsatisfied, Meg took the issue to social media, forming a community group on Facebook.
On the page, Meg wrote, in part: "My daughter and a good friend of hers were in the study room by the computers. The man using the computer, that the girls could see from their study room, was watching pictures of naked women. Our girls were appalled and went to the librarian. The librarian asked the girls was he watching children or women? They answer the women and the librarian said there isn't anything she can do because it's his 'right' to watch it."
Meg is hoping by rallying other concerned parents, they can get libraries to put one or two computers in a corner of the library for adult viewing only.
The King County Library System, however, says they've found that keeping computers in central, visible location usually deters people from viewing explicit material.
If you want to join Meg's Facebook group, click here.